Grave of Ruth Caroline Rolls.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Meadows. Source: Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/186986086/ruth-c-rolls

Rolls, Ruth Caroline (Lucas) (1922–2013)

By Sabrina Riley

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Sabrina Riley was born in Auburn, New York and raised in Dowagiac, Michigan. She received a B.A. in history from Andrews University and an M.A. in information and libraries studies from the University of Michigan. Riley was a member of Andrews University’s library staff from 1998 to 2003, library director and college archivist at Union College from 2003 to 2016, and is presently a freelance researcher, author, and information professional.

 

First Published: January 29, 2020

Ruth Caroline Lucas was a renowned educator, teacher, and president of the Seventh-day Adventist Business Educator’s Association.

Early Life

Ruth Caroline Lucas was born March 28, 1922, in Maitland, Florida.1 She was the only child born to her father and his second wife, Lloyd Martin Lucas (1879–1968)2 and Clora Virene Estridge Lucas (1892–1982). She had two older half-sisters. Matilda Mary (1911–1988), a dietitian who worked at the Hinsdale Sanitarium, married Felix Evan Turner.3 Susannah Harriet (1912–1972) married Dewitte Talmadge Boyd.4 Born in Indiana, Lloyd Lucas was an Adventist farmer in Maitland, Florida. Clora Lucas was born in Georgia.

Family

Following graduation from Forest Lake Academy in 1940,5 Ruth Lucas married a physician, Karl Reid Rolls (1922–1995), in Maitland, Florida on September 3, 1940.6 Karl Rolls served in the army and was stationed in Germany in the early 1950s. Ruth Rolls and their four oldest children accompanied him to Germany. In all, the Rollses had five children, Dolores G., Karl L. Rolls, Jr.–a naval officer,7 Susan Jana, Carolyn Jean, and Bonnie.8 They divorced in October 1964 in Sarasota, Florida.9 Karl Rolls remarried and continued to reside in Florida for the remainder of his life. Ruth Rolls did not remarry.

Education and Career

With a high school education Rolls worked as a secretary in the Southern New England Conference while her husband took premed courses.10 She later worked as a secretary in several doctors’ offices and for the treasurer at Southern Missionary College when her children were young.11 With her children grown, Rolls returned to school, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwest Missouri State University in 1968 and a Master of Business Education degree from same school in 1971.12

In 1967 Rolls was hired to teach secretarial science at Monterey Bay Academy.13 Five years later Union College called her to business education. From 1972 until her retirement in 1987, Rolls taught a variety of classes, although office management was her specialty. By the time she retired, Rolls had achieved the faculty rank of associate professor of business education.14

Rolls was active in the social life of the Union College campus and was frequently involved in planning campus events. She loved interaction with students and often invited them to her home. In return, they regarded her warmly as a mentor and a teacher. Rolls was a highly motivated person, and colleagues valued her professionalism.15 In addition to teaching and social events, Rolls was also a faculty consultant for the Teaching Learning Center at Union College.16 She was president of the Seventh-day Adventist Business Educator’s Association for a least one term from 1980 to 1982.17

Later Life

Upon her retirement in 1987, Union College granted Rolls professor emeritus status.18In retirement Rolls enjoyed traveling, being with her children and grandchildren, and pursuing her hobbies of quilting, weaving, and reading. In 1988 Rolls coordinated a professional development seminar for Union College secretaries.19 Ruth Rolls spent her last days in a nursing home in Loma Linda, California, where she died on November 29, 2013.20

Sources

“Cash Succeeds Rolls as SDA-BEA President.” Mid-America Union Outlook, May 13, 1982.

Florida. Divorce Certificates. Florida Department of Health, Jacksonville, Florida. Ancestry.com. Accessed November 3, 2019. https://www.ancestry.com.

Florida. Marriage Certificates. Florida Department of Health, Jacksonville, Florida, Ancestry.com. Accessed November 3, 2019. https://www.ancestry.com.

Jana Russon Blog. Memorial to Ruth Rolls. Accessed November 4, 2019. http://janarusson.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-phone-call.html.

“Lloyd M. Lucas obituary.” ARH, June 6, 1968.

“Members of the 1940 Graduating Class.” Orlando (Florida) Evening Star, May 19, 1940. Accessed November 3, 2019. Newspapers.com.

“Miss Ruth Lucas to Wed Karl Rolls.” Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, September 6, 1940. Accessed November 3, 2019. Newspapers.com.

“Mrs. Rolls Joins Secretarial Science Department.” Central Union Reaper, August 1972.

“Principal Writes News Notes From Monterey Bay Academy.” Pacific Union Recorder, November 27, 1967.

“Professional Secretaries.” Mid-America Union Outlook, November 1988.

“Rolls Retires.” Outlook, July 1, 1987.

Rolls-Larson, Bonnie. “Remembering Ruth Rolls.” Remembering Ruth Rolls. Accessed November 4, 2019. https://rememberingruthrolls.wordpress.com/.

“Serving Their Country.” Tampa Bay (St. Petersburg, Florida) Times, January 2, 1969. Accessed November 3, 2019. Newspapers.com.

“S. N. E. News Notes.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, November 25, 1942.

“Susannah Harriet Boyd.” ARH, August 3, 1972.

“They’re Doing Something About Johnny’s Spelling and Prof’s Teaching.” Central Union Reaper, December 1977.

“Union College in Brief.” Clocktower (Union College), October 1, 1987.

“Wedding Bells.” Southern Tidings, July 27, 1938.

Notes

  1. Bonnie Rolls-Larson, “Ruth Rolls obituary,” Remembering Ruth Rolls, accessed November 4, 2019, https://rememberingruthrolls.wordpress.com/.

  2. “Lloyd M. Lucas obituary,” ARH, June 6, 1968, 24.

  3. “Wedding Bells,” Southern Tidings, July 27, 1938, 8.

  4. “Susannah Harriet Boyd,” ARH, August 3, 1972, 30.

  5. “Members of the 1940 Graduating Class,” Orlando (Florida) Evening Star, May 19, 1940, 22, accessed November 3, 2019, Newspapers.com.

  6. Orange County, Florida, Certificate of Marriage 22229 (1940), Karl Reid Rolls, Florida Department of Health, Jacksonville, Florida, Ancestry.com, accessed November 3, 2019, https://www.ancestry.com; “Miss Ruth Lucas to Wed Karl Rolls,” Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, September 6, 1940, 13, accessed November 3, 2019, Newspapers.com.

  7. “Serving Their Country,” Tampa Bay (St. Petersburg, Florida) Times, January 2, 1969, 15-B, accessed November 3, 2019, Newspapers.com.

  8. “Mrs. Rolls Joins Secretarial Science Department,” Central Union Reaper, August 1972, 3.

  9. Sarasota, Florida, Certificate of Divorce 19601 (1964), Karl R. Rolls, Florida Department of Health, Jacksonville, Florida, Ancestry.com, accessed November 3, 2019, https://www.ancestry.com.

  10. S. N. E. News Notes,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, November 25, 1942, 3.

  11. “Mrs. Rolls Joins Secretarial Science Department,” Central Union Reaper, August 1972, 3.

  12. “Rolls Retires,” Mid-America Union Outlook, July 1987, 24.

  13. “Principal Writes News Notes From Monterey Bay Academy,” Pacific Union Recorder, November 27, 1967, 23; “Mrs. Rolls Joins Secretarial Science Department.”

  14. “Mrs. Rolls Joins Secretarial Science Department”; “Rolls Retires.”

  15. “Mrs. Rolls Joins Secretarial Science Department”; “Rolls Retires”; Rolls-Larson. “Ruth Rolls obituary,” Remembering Ruth Rolls, accessed November 4, 2019,https://rememberingruthrolls.wordpress.com/.

  16. “They’re Doing Something About Johnny’s Spelling and Prof’s Teaching,” Central Union Reaper, December 1977, 2.

  17. “Cash Succeeds Rolls as SDA-BEA President,” Mid-America Union Outlook, May 13, 1982, 12.

  18. “Union College in Brief,” Clocktower (Union College), October 1, 1987, 9.

  19. “Professional Secretaries,” Mid-America Union Outlook, November 1988, 17.

  20. Rolls-Larson, “Ruth Rolls obituary,” Remembering Ruth Rolls, accessed November 4, 2019,https://rememberingruthrolls.wordpress.com/.

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Riley, Sabrina. "Rolls, Ruth Caroline (Lucas) (1922–2013)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DA2L.

Riley, Sabrina. "Rolls, Ruth Caroline (Lucas) (1922–2013)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access May 20, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DA2L.

Riley, Sabrina (2020, January 29). Rolls, Ruth Caroline (Lucas) (1922–2013). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 20, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DA2L.